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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 15, 2010 1:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Whats so damn atheistical about the dead?

Oh yeah, I can see the "cult" aspect, but like you, only in a "good way".

And, the whole "lyrics about God" is misplaced, as we noted above...the notion that "what you sing is only what you endorse" is patently absurd.

Does this mean that Dave Torbert endorsed the positions of Andy Jackson because he sang Battle of New Orleans? Does this mean Bob would really leave his uncle for dead by the side of the road? Does anyone for a moment think there is ANY significance to I Hear a Voice Calling because Bob sang it? I say it was entirely because they thought they could do that song well. End of story.

Jerry sang gospel tunes cause they come with the territory with bluegrass. Period.

The real problem with anyone that imagines the DEAD represented ANYTHING that ANY religion would aspire to has to simply look at what the Summer of Love represented. It was an absolutely hedonistic, self centered exercise as ever there was, rejecting all manner of traditional religious expression and practice. Jerry was quite some distance from what most of us would consider "good christian" practices, but that misses the point...we love him for his music, not his day to day antics with respect to honoring his parents, loving his wife, and raising his kids, all of which by his own admission, he did poorly, and certainly without any notion of following someone's "rule book" about proper behavior.

OK, there, that's off my chest--not that you didn't already know that...

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 15, 2010 10:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Whats so damn atheistical about the dead?

"Jerry sang gospel tunes cause they come with the territory with bluegrass. Period."

You know this how? I'm assuming you sort of believe in the some efficacy of scientific method.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 16, 2010 6:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Whats so damn atheistical about the dead?

SF: well, it's my view that the choice of those songs was made without reference to the spiritual significance...suppose I came on too strong? My point is that it is equally, if not more compelling to imagine that gospel tunes are selected because they come with the territory when one does blue grass.

Just as when someone decides to "do" Christmas music. One would never say, "hey, this guy did Christmas songs at the Holiday special!! He must be religious or spiritual!", right?

Right? He could have done them simply because he was asked to play some Holiday tunes and they are the ones available. Overly simplistic analogy, but in the absence of ANY evidence of religious/spiritual expressions by the boys over the years, off stage, I just don't see the DEAD as in any way religious.

Again, that quote someone used above said it all: "...the best part about the 60s...the spiritual..." by Jerry makes clear that sense the 60s were largely a rejection of traditional religion, and an awakening of inner exploration, etc., his view of spirituality was probably much more secular--that's what I've been driving at throughout this discussion.

Of course, hard to know for sure, but his actions on a personal level over the years do not reflect a deeply spiritual man, IMHO.

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 16, 2010 7:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Whats so damn atheistical about the dead?

""...the best part about the 60s...the spiritual..." by Jerry makes clear that sense the 60s were largely a rejection of traditional religion, and an awakening of inner exploration, etc., his view of spirituality was probably much more secular"

Traditional religion IS spiritual -- that's the whole point. Please don't get lost in the bureaucracy.

There was a reason that the Catholic hierarchy (and US slavemasters later) didn't want the rabble to actual have access to the scripture.

This post was modified by spacedface on 2010-01-17 03:35:21

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Poster: vapors Date: Jan 16, 2010 7:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Ride The Mighty High

Interesting discussion. I'm not too anxious to come clean here with my personal 'spiritual' GD experience, but for what it’s worth I just came across this interesting quote from Jerry in the book ‘Garcia: A Signpost To A New Space’.

“I think basically the Grateful Dead is not for cranking out rock and roll, it’s not for going out and doing concerts or any of that stuff. I think it’s to get high. To get really high is to forget yourself. And to forget yourself is to see everything else. And to see everything else is to become an understanding molecule in evolution, a conscious tool of the universe. And I think every human being should be a conscious tool of the universe.”

Made me look at "Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world" in a new light.


This post was modified by vapors on 2010-01-16 15:20:27

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 16, 2010 8:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Ride The Mighty High

Hey D--that's a great example of what I am getting at in attempting to describe my view of their "spirituality"...it is clearly, IMHO anyhow, a complete rejection of the traditional, deity based notion of spirituality. This is an individualistic, humanistic form of spirituality, quite distinct and apart from traditional religious perspectives.

In fact, it seems another example of their lack of the traditional, God based forms of spirituality. It seems obvious that these sorts of comments and lyrics, etc., would have been linked to mention of God, religion, etc., being a part of this experience, if it held any significance for them. The fact that in so many examples they fail to make that sort of connection makes a strong case for them having the classic, 60s based model of individualistic, center of the universe (each person is the "eyes of the world"), unbounded by the connection and control and community a deity would entail.

Good example...thanks!

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 16, 2010 7:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Ride The Mighty High

"strong case for them having the classic, 60s based model of individualistic, center of the universe (each person is the "eyes of the world"), unbounded by the connection and control and community a deity would entail."

Your model isn't the only one. You must realize that if you admit you're secular.

I think the idea in spirituality and religion is that the more you are in harmony with the rest of creation -- for example "are you kind" -- then the more you are in tune and can see from the "eyes of the world."

That waking up is the dawning of the light of the spirit. Easier said than done -- but Leave it on!

This post was modified by spacedface on 2010-01-17 03:38:01

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 17, 2010 5:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Ride The Mighty High

OK, boy--that was a lot of replies!

As I said below, the point I am on about is I don't think the boys believed in God or we would have heard more about "God is this," or "God gave me this gift" or what have you...with all that is written, it would've come up if they were spiritual in that tradtional, simple sense.

And, I think enough folks have made the point now, okay, so don't take it personally: you cannot make ANYTHING out of ANY lyrics anyone sings (cause it can go any way you want it to! That's my point).

Now, if you accept the following is "spiritual", then we actually agree (I imagine Jerry saying something lame like this):

"I believe we are all connected...I believe there is something like universal consciousness...I do not believe there is one entity that created us, controls us, looks out for us (tr God), but I believe in...blah, blah, blah"

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 18, 2010 12:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Ride The Mighty High

"Now, if you accept the following is "spiritual", then we actually agree (I imagine Jerry saying something lame like this)"

The problem is imagining something like that.

Again the GD was wary of wearing their hearts on their sleeves. It leaves room for growth and a more private life, and avoids controversies that John Lennon got himself by talking a lot.

You mind me a bit of Han Solo:
“I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field controls my destiny.”

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 18, 2010 4:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Ride The Mighty High

"I don’t believe in a supernatural being."

Is that good enough? Jerry said it, not me...

Whoops--also forgot the other great quotes that sound just like what I said above, but even whackier (I love this one, but check out BD's story and you can get more):

"Jerry: I go along with the notion that the universe wants consciousness in it, that it’s part of the evolutionary motion of the universe and that we represent the universe’s consciousness. Why it wants it, I don’t know, but it seems to want it."



This post was modified by William Tell on 2010-01-18 12:43:18

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 16, 2010 6:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Ride The Mighty High

I do see there are different takes on all this, some see things a long time coming. I just don't appreciate some so much. Mostly Grace Slick leaves me cold, but she had some funny stuff:

2 thousand years, 2 thousand years, 2 thousand years of your God damned glory

That album was pretty hard to take literally.

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jan 16, 2010 5:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Ride The Mighty High

".it is clearly, IMHO anyhow, a complete rejection of the traditional, deity based notion of spirituality. This is an individualistic, humanistic form of spirituality, quite distinct and apart from traditional religious perspectives."

Again you can have those ideas in "religion" to a point.

As Jerry said above the idea is "to forget yourself is to see everything else." That's very difficult and even mystical, and in the end the real point behind mind expansion.

It is the real goal of religion. People, being limited and temporary, just have a hard time on trying to explain conscious existence which sort of is God.

Maybe you just disagree that the Deity is conscious existence. Anyway, the big wheel turns by the grace of God, and blues for Allah as God wills.

I didn't plan it but The Wheel came up as I typed that last sentence:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd89-07-19.sbd.437.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: headgdhead Date: Jan 16, 2010 5:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Whats so damn atheistical about the dead?

Yah I always thought it came from his love of the harmonies in Soul music. Donna & Keith also influenced Jerry when it came to gospel.